Monday, July 23, 2012

Factors affecting Dyslexic people

In March this year I read an article in You may read the full article by clicking on the link below.

I have copied a section from that article as shown below. I made 2 comments and have yet to receive any reply. I would be grateful if any of you can please give me your comments.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder which mainly manifests through one's inability to read, spell or write correctly and successfully. However, this is a very complex condition manifesting uniquely in every patient. Thus, the symptoms of dyslexia may range from very mild to fairly severe. Basically, people with dyslexia have problems with phonological awareness, verbal memory and the speed of verbal processing.

Factors affecting Dyslexic People
Speaking of phonological awareness, it is considered to be the key of learning how to read and write. Namely, this awareness allows us to recognize phonemes and differentiate them from one another. Phonemes are small units of sounds all words consist of. When phonemes are changed, words are changed respectively, along with their meaning. Thus, changing a single phoneme in the word “cat” can lead to creation and utterance of the word “bat”. Dyslexic people have troubles noticing this difference and all other phonetic changes as well.

·  luqmanmichel Posted: 3/14/12 8:25 PM

I disagree with the statement above which says: "Basically, people with dyslexia have problems with phonological awareness,"...
This is what has been written and then copied unquestioningly by many professors for more than 30 years. If it is true that dyslexics have a phonological awareness deficit there are many questions that beg  an answer. I have been teaching dyslexic students for 8 years. I am from Sabah, Malaysia where all students learn at least 2 languages in school - Malay and English. Some learn a third language - Mandarin. All my students do not have a problem reading or spelling in both Malay and Romanised Mandarin which use the same 26 alphabets as the English language. They however are unable to read in English. The question is; if a dyslexic has a phonological awareness problem then why is it that he has no phonological problem with Malay and Mandarin?
Luqman Michel

·  luqmanmichel Posted: 3/14/12 9:02 PM

Another statement I disagree with is: "Thus, changing a single phoneme in the word “cat” can lead to creation and utterance of the word “bat”. Dyslexic people have troubles noticing this difference and all other phonetic changes as well."

Where does the author come up with this from? None of my dyslexic students over the last 8 years have a problem with this. They can easily read through all the family words of cat - bat, cat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat and sat.

However, a dyslexic child's mind shuts down when what he hears from the teacher does not make sense to him. For example having easily learnt the family words but, cut, gut, hut, jut, and nut he shuts down when he hears the word 'put'. Is this a phonological problem? I just tell my students that this is the problem with the English language and ask them to pronounce the word 'put' the way it is pronounced.

I have also noticed many of my students opening their eyes wide and staring at me when I teach them the words - 'A cat'. Having easily taught then the family words bat, cat, fat ... I go on to 'A cat' and they are lost. Why is this? Is it a phonological problem? No, they have learnt the phoneme of the letter 'a' as in 'apple' in the family words bat, cat, fat, mat, par,  rat and sat. However, now the letter 'A' in 'A cat' has a different phoneme (sound). Here the alphabet ‘A’ has the sound as in ‘around’. When this is not explained to the dyslexic child, his mind shuts down.

I tell them that the letter 'a' has many sounds (at least 5 sounds) and that one of the sounds that the latter 'a' has is the  sound as in ‘apple’  sound in bat, cat....

When I teach the words 'A cat', I point out that this 'A' sound is different. The sound here is as in the word ‘around’ and the child has no problem learning to read.

As such, it is high time that this statement that dyslexics have a phonological awareness problem be looked into.

For information: All vowels have more than one phoneme e.g.
“A” as in ant, atlas, axe and animal.

“A” as in article, ask, art and arm.

“A” as in around, away, ago and asleep.

“A” as in always, also, almost and although.

“A” as in alien, ace, an


TopLatestTrends Blog said...

Your site is a nice place to get valuable info! Do you mind if I reblog one of your entries on my personal portal?

Luqman Michel said...

I regret this late response. I was on holidays and when I returned got bogged down with work and did not look at the comments till now.
Please reblog what you want from my blog. It is my pleasure.

school psychology career said...

I must appreciate your blog.. you have focused totally on child dyslexia which is a topic of serious concern..really hats off to your seriousness about the child problem..

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for your comment. Someone had said a long time ago that dyslexics have a phonological awareness problem and subsequently many write the same thing without pausing to think if what they are writing is correct.
None of the dyslexic students I have taught over the past 8 years have a phonological awareness problem.